Posted by: Mitchell H. Kirsch
Image © Quinn Dombrowski / Creative Commons.
I’ve got the world’s best ergonomic chair in my home office, and it suits me just fine. It was my old boss’s ergonomic chair, but I got it cheap when the business folded and I’ve been using it for the past 12 years.
How is it the best? Because over time, it’s adjusted to me - the depressions made by my back and backside have molded this chair, over the years, into one that fits my curves perfectly.
But not everyone has 12 years to make the world’s best ergonomic chair out of any garage-sale purchase. Certainly not facility managers who have to contend with quick employee turnover – no employee really has that much time!
The only real lesson you can derive from my example is this: the best ergonomic chair in the world is one that is perfectly adjusted to suit the individual.
The best ergonomic chairs provide adjustment mechanisms that conform to individual body shapes. No single body is unique, and each chair must be adjusted to match specific body shapes. In some cases, you might be better off hiring an ergonomics professional to do the adjustments.
Also, really good ergonomic chairs allow for constant movement. The back, armrest, and seat should be able to let you shift your body into other positions, while keeping your body in the proper posture.
Ideally, you should also get the best ergonomic chair that suits your profession. Doctors, software engineers, and art directors have totally different working habits – their ergonomic chair needs are different, too.
Nothing can substitute actually testing the chair out for yourself. Finding the best ergonomic chair for your needs can be a matter of just sitting in it, making a few adjustments, and asking yourself a few simple questions:
- How much hip room do I have?
- How much can I adjust the seat’s height?
- How comfortable is my lumbar, or lower back?
- How comfortable is my butt in the seat pan?
- How comfortable is the chair when reclining?
- How comfortable is the chair after an hour or so of use?
You don’t have to wait ten years to get the best ergonomic chair, as in my case – you just need a little patience, some hands-on experience, and the courage to ask the right questions.
(By the way, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the best ergonomic chair for you doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg – check out our partner SeatingWarehouse.com’s selection of affordable ergonomic office chairs.)